Blissful Valentine’s Day, courting app downloads are slowing down

It could be Valentine’s Day right here within the U.S., however the courting app market isn’t wanting as promising because it used to. Based on a brand new evaluation by app intelligence supplier information.ai, international downloads of courting apps noticed solely tepid development year-over-year as of this January — a slight enhance of simply 1.9% to succeed in 128 million installs, in contrast with the 29% enhance seen throughout the identical time within the prior yr. Within the U.S., development has additionally slowed, with a 2.38% year-over-year enhance as of January 2024, reaching roughly 12.7 million installs, down from the practically 16% development seen in January 2023.

Whereas information.ai likes to color any development as a constructive signal for the business, there are different indicators that the market is dropping steam.

Picture Credit: information.ai

Courting app large Match Group, which operates Match, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and others, reported its whole variety of paying prospects declined by 5% year-over-year as of its fourth-quarter earnings report in January. Within the prior quarter, the corporate had reported a 6% decline in prospects paying for its flagship app, Tinder, which despatched the inventory tumbling.

Tinder’s paying buyer development additionally slowed once more final quarter, dropping 8% year-over-year to succeed in 10 million payers, the corporate stated in its shareholder letter.

Although Match Group nonetheless beat estimates on fourth-quarter earnings and income — the latter up 10% year-over-year to $866.23 million — it’s turn out to be more and more clear that’s as a result of the corporate has realized learn how to squeeze extra {dollars} out of a shrinking paying consumer base. Working example: Tinder launched a ridiculously priced $500 per 30 days subscription known as Tinder Choose final fall, which promised to match subscribers with the “most wanted” profiles — an thought it picked up from its 2022 acquisition of high-end courting app The League.

Within the U.S. market, one of many largest for courting apps, solely three in 10 adults reported ever utilizing a courting website or app, Pew Analysis reported final yr. That determine stays the identical as in 2019, the agency identified.

In the meantime, though one in 10 U.S. adults stated they met their companion on a courting app or web site, courting apps’ broader success on that entrance is questionable.

A current evaluation of U.S. Census Bureau information discovered {that a} document variety of 40-year-olds (one-quarter) have by no means been married, up from simply 6% in 1980. Arguably, this displays different elements — together with the acceptance of single companions dwelling collectively and the inclusion of same-sex {couples} into marriage information. Nonetheless, given that 44% of U.S. courting app customers stated they turned to courting apps to discover a long-term companion, versus wanting extra informal relationships, it’s not clear that immediately’s apps have been in a position to ship.

As well as, Tinder’s maintain on the U.S. courting app market seems to be waning ever so barely, information.ai’s new report reveals. As of final month, it had the most important market share of another courting app at 29.3%, however that is down from 29.8% a yr in the past.

Picture Credit: information.ai

Thus far, Tinder has seen a complete of 530 million downloads, the corporate shares on its web site, however Match additionally admitted in This autumn that each Tinder’s U.S. and international every day new customers had declined by the mid-single digits year-over-year, along with the decline in its paying prospects.

Bumble’s share, in the meantime, shrunk from 17.6% to 14.3 % year-over-year, information.ai discovered, to come back in at quantity two.

The “Different” class of courting apps, which incorporates the smaller firms and startups experimenting with new fashions, grew from a 27.4% market share in January 2023 to 29.2% in January 2024. This appears to point that amongst courting app customers, there’s a rising need for one thing new.

Issues may nonetheless flip round, after all. Match stated it’s going to now look to AI to enhance the courting app expertise, together with in areas like its picture picker, matching capabilities, and post-match steering, by augmenting options like dialog starters and nudges with AI.

This follows on information that an growing variety of folks are turning to AI instruments like ChatGPT to assist them with their courting app chats. An AI courting software Rizz went viral and has seen downloads rise within the months following its Washington Publish write-up. Based on information from app intelligence supplier Appfigures, Rizz has seen north of two.24 million downloads over the previous yr, for instance.

Whether or not AI can ship extra folks again to courting apps, after all, stays to be seen, given that it’ll additionally seemingly encourage extra AI-powered romance scams and different malicious exercise, safety agency McAfee lately warned.

All this doesn’t imply the market isn’t ripe for funding, nonetheless. Along with the modifications pushed by AI, Match proves that courting apps can nonetheless ship massive {dollars} when correctly monetized. Information.ai famous that courting apps generated a document $505 million in January 2024, at the same time as year-over-year income development slowed to eight% from 17% the yr prior.

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